Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ah--And So It Begins

It is grind my axe day today!

The headline in the paper says it all--"Obama proposes pay freeze for federal workers." And so now I am nothing more than a pawn in the budget battle.

Consider this--the article indicated that freezing federal pay for two years would save the government $60 billion over 10 years. Given that the debt for just 2010 was $1.3 trillion, it will only take an additional 216 years (plus or minus) to retire that debt and then there is the rest of the debt to deal with providing that Congress does not incur more debt!

Like that is going to happen.

Fundamentally in the realm of the budget and the deficit they are dealing with "chump change."

And, by freezing pay (which is a pay decrease since taxes and health insurance are increasing) they run the risk of stalling the economic recovery. The planned pay increase was only going to keep the standard of living at the same level, it isn't as if it was some fantastic amount like 5 percent.

The impact of this type of ill-advised budget process should already be seen on the retirees--who will not have seen an increase in two years, yet medicare and taxes continue to increase reducing disposable income.

Headlines like this make a big splash--since everyone, it seems, likes to take shots at the federal workforce--but who is going to administer the billions in programs that the government is responsible for? Those same federal workers. Do the taxpayers of the U.S. deserve a qualified workforce of professionals running programs including intelligence and defense, or should they sell out to the lowest bidder?

There is not a lot of ability in the federal workplace to earn extra money. And frankly, I have been beginning to receive offers from industry offering to double my salary should I leave federal service.

But I love what I do--and I am really good at it (so I am told).

I am not a federal worker to get rich. That is never going to happen. I work where I do, doing the job I love because I am a patriot. And yes--I will probably continue to work without the prospect of increasing my salary and retirement benefits for the next two years--but really, there ought to be some sense in the process. If the federal workforce is going to be competitive it needs to receive comparable pay.

I note that the bonuses to the employees of the Wall Street banking companies which were bailed out are back up in the ionosphere this year. Maybe that is the problem?

Which segment of society is next? After the retirees and the federal workforce, there aren't many places that can be hit--except for the military.

Enough axe grinding. It is bad everywhere and going to get worse. So much for Happy Holidays!

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